Exploring Cliveden's Glorious Gardens

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Leisure Walks
Aug 28
2022

7 people attending

13 places left

Your price
£12.50
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Easy Moderate Very Hard
5 miles on generally good paths.

An easy Sunday afternoon walk around Cliveden’s glorious gardens and woodlands overlooking the River Thames. Follow in the footsteps of dukes, earls, and royalty as we pass though a series of impressive gardens including the celebrated Parterre (one of the largest in Europe) with amazing views from the Terrace across the Thames Valley. The Japanese-style Water Garden was inspired by the huge interest in oriental design at the turn of the 20th century and includes a six-sided pagoda. The Italian-style Long Garden has some quirky statues and topiary with some beautiful floral displays. The circular Rose Garden includes over 900 flowering roses in various colours, and there is also a Round Garden, Walled Garden, and the historic Cliveden Maze with 1,100 six-foot-tall yew trees covering an area of one-third of an acre.

The gardens and woodlands cover 375 acres and are listed Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Other sights include the outstanding sculpture collection (in particular the beautiful shell fountain, known as the Fountain of Love), the Octagon Temple perched on the cliff edge and built in 1735, the Blenheim Pavilion designed in 1727 to commemorate the Battle of Blenheim, and an amphitheatre where the first recital of ‘Rule Britannia’ was played.

Cliveden has become one of the National Trust’s most popular visitor attractions, and the house on the Estate has been home to a Prince of Wales, two Dukes, an Earl and finally the Viscounts Astor. For over 350 years it has been a place of history, mystery, intrigue, and scandal. In the 1960s a chance meeting between Christine Keeler and cabinet minister John Profumo led to what was subsequently called the Profumo Affair, which in turn led to the fall of the Macmillan government. Today the house is a five-star hotel and is where Meghan Markle and her mother Doria stayed the night before the Royal Wedding.

At the end of the walk we shall have refreshments at the Conservatory Café which serves a selection of drinks and snacks. You can also visit the gift shop and plant centre.  

Entrance to the estate is free if you are a member of the National Trust. Otherwise, the standard adult admission is £16.00. More information is at Cliveden | National Trust

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